The Canadian online gaming market is one of the largest and most dynamic iGaming markets around. In April 2022, Ontario became the first province in the country to launch a regulated online gambling market open to private companies. The rest of Canada still remains a mixture of locally licensed operators (on the provincial level) and international gambling sites.
In Ontario, the market is regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and iGaming Ontario. These two official bodies are in charge of vetting the operators, issuing licenses, and overseeing licensees to ensure their business conduct is in line with the regulation. With the establishment of new online gambling laws, Ontario banned all international sites, requiring them to obtain a local license if they wanted to continue catering to Ontarians.
In the rest of Canada, however, international casinos, poker rooms, and betting sites continue to operate without any problems. While Canada at large remains somewhat of a gray market, there are no laws explicitly preventing international operators from catering to Canadians.
The goal of Canada Gaming Review is to provide an honest, independent analysis of safe gambling options in Canada and give players the tools they need to make intelligent choices about where and how to play. This page will look at the kinds of gambling available to Canadians.
Read on to learn about how and where you can gamble online in Canada. Wherever you live, whether you are interested in online sports betting, taking a spin at an online casino, running your dream team in daily fantasy sports, or playing a few hands of online poker, Canada Gaming Review can help you find the safe and reliable platform to play on.
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Online Sports Betting
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Where is Sports Betting and Online Casino Gaming Legal in Canada?
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Types of Online Gaming Available in Canada
Online poker has been hugely popular in Canada for many years now. The latest update to Ontario gambling laws changed the online poker landscape in the country to some extent, although the rest of the country has mainly remained unaffected by these changes.
In Ontario, local regulators have set up rules where all operators wanting to cater to Ontarians have to acquire a license issued by iGaming Ontario. However, new laws have also set up Ontario as a ring-fenced market, meaning that Ontarians playing on regulated sites cannot play with other players in Canada or other countries. For the time being, residents of Ontario can only play online poker with others physically present within the province.
In other parts of Canada, players continue to have access to international poker sites, including some with Ontario licenses. While their Ontario operations remain segregated, these operators still offer their services for other Canadians on their international platforms.
Every Canadian has access to online lottery play through their provincial or regional lottery/gaming site. Lottery play in Canada tends to be organized regionally, with Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia acting as their own regions.
Prairie provinces Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba combine with the territories under the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC), while the four maritime provinces combine together under the Atlantic Lottery Corp (ALC).
Our guide to online lottery play in Canada will help you find all the information you need.
Is sports betting legal in Canada?
Yes. Sports betting is legal across Canada. In Ontario, the activity is regulated by the province, and all sites offering betting services must have a license issued bu the iGaming Ontario. In rest of Canada, players have access to numerous international betting operators.
These sites are not licensed in the country, but many of them are very safe and reputable. Additionally, it is important to mention that betting on these offshore platforms is not against the law so you have nothing to worry about as long as you stick to trusted platforms.
Are online casinos legal in Canada?
Yes. Online casino play is completely legal in Canada. Residents of Ontario have access to a nice selection of locally-licensed online casinos, while the rest of the country can enjoy the benefits of international casinos licensed by bodies like the Malta Gaming Authority. While no other province besides Ontario offers local licenses, playing at offshore sites is not against the law and players from other parts of Canada will not face any legal problems for doing so.
Are US sportsbooks legal in Canada?
No. Sports betting sites in the US are regulated by individual states in the country and are only allowed to cater to players physically present within that state. This means that US bookmakers cannot legaly provide their services even across state lines, much less in a different country.
What is the legal age to place online sports bets in Canada?
The legal gambling age in Canada varies by provincial jurisdiction, so where you live will determine what age you can begin to play. In Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec, the legal gambling age is 18, while residents of the rest of Canada must wait until they are 19 to start betting, online or in-person.
What online sportsbooks are available in Canada?
Many of the largeset international sportsbooks accept players from Canada, so Canadians have ample options at their disposal. The only exception to this rule is the province of Ontario, which recently regulated sports betting and other forms of online gambling.
In Ontario specifically, bettors can choose from several sites that applied for and received local licenses, like BetMGM Sports Ontario, BetRivers Sports Ontario, and 888.
Are gambling winnings taxed in Canada?
Generally no. In Canada, gambling wins are considered “windfalls” and as such are generally not taxable. However, for high-volume gamblers, it may be best to seek legal tax help to answer this question, as there are potential scenarios where gambling income may be taxable.
If it can be determined that the gambler is “making a living” from their gambling using a system designed to give them an edge, with tracking and forecasting of results, the activity can be deemed as work instead of gambling, and thus be taxable. Further, money earned through things like sponsorships related to your gambling activity will almost certainly be taxable.